Attack on Toronto Financial District Thwarted

Pakistani national arrested after undercover investigation reveals his plan to bomb US consulate, cause 'mass destruction.'

Dalit Halevy, Ari Yashar,

Downtown Toronto (illustration)
Downtown Toronto (illustration)
Reuters

A Toronto resident originally from Pakistan has been arrested and is on trial for allegedly planning to attack the US consulate and other buildings in Toronto's financial district.

Jahanzeb Malik was arrested on Monday and brought in to a federal Canadian tribunal as part of an attempt by the government to deport him without trying him for criminal offences, reports the Canadian The Globe and Mail on Wednesday. It remains unclear why the government is not trying him for terrorism charges.

Malik entered Canada in 2004 on a student visa to study at York University, and later got married and received permanent residence status in 2009.

He has two prior criminal charges, one from 2006 for using false credit cards, and one in 2012 for assaulting his wife, but both cases ended with a conditional discharge.

In the trial, Jessica Lourenco of the Canadian immigration ministry told the Immigration and Refugee Board that counter-terrorism police initiated an investigation of Malik last September, with an undercover agent assigned to him.

Malik told the agent he wanted to detonate a bomb at the US consulate or in the downtown financial district of Toronto, with Lourenco noting "mass destruction or possibly the loss of life would have been the result."

Reportedly the Pakistani national also revealed to the agent that he underwent terrorist training in Libya and was in contact with Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US terrorism suspect that was living in Yemen and was killed by a CIA drone strike in 2011.

Malik also revealed he supports Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, and showed the agent videos of ISIS executions and beheadings, likewise voicing support for the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January.


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